The National, Monday July 1st, 2013
By GABRIEL LAHOC
NATIONAL Capital District Governor Powes Parkop does not want Lae or any other town to get city commission status like the nation’s capital.
“I don’t think any other cities in the country should be legally and politically organised to be the same as Port Moresby,” Parkop said.
“Lae city should not take too much of a cue from Port Moresby although it’s tempting.
“We’ve got to understand that Moresby is our capital city and is a unique entity unlike any other province and town in the country.”
But Parkop said the Lae urban local level government needed the type of support that Port Moresby received “because it is the industrial hub of the nation and is the most strategically located city”.
“But having said that, I can see the logic behind the argument,” he said.
“I think what they need to look at is another type of mechanism by which we can structure finance into the urban LLG in Lae city so that it can meet the infrastructure needs for Lae city as it grows.”
“Give Lae City Council some more powers to collect tax, that’s what they want and we can do that without making it a commission.”
He warned that if Lae city became a commission, it would set the precedence for other provincial capitals to demand city commission status”.
“I don’t think that’s a valid argument but the valid argument is Lae needs special arrangement and that can be done in other legislations to enable the city authority to collect tax.
“Let’s organise it and bring it up in a special legislation.”